Please don't panic yet. Heartburn and/or GERD depends a great deal on your lifestyle anyway, unless, of course, there is something only a doctor can treat. I don't know anything about other than you are young and likely have many years ahead of you. I have already faced a fatal disease and, thus far have beat it. Make no mistake, if, you have GERD it is a pre-cancerous condition. What you do, or don't do, will make a big difference in your life, not just in what you eat. Please go to internet, type in "Medical Information," then go to a medical site, like the Mayo Clinic, one the most prestigious break-through hospitals in the world, known for it's amazing research, or to any other site, do at least three different sites, type in GERD and see what it is, how it works, and how serious it can get. Knowledge is power in medical situations.
Lets start with what you CAN do. At first I hated it, but now almost two years later, I eat really good. I eat foods that are good for me, my skin, and my body. I actually feel better now and have more energy than I did three years ago. Don't get me wrong, I miss pizza now and again, but fast food just is not a part of my life anymore. I've seen programs on natural foods, organic foods, (I know eck! ) but truth is what you eat now determines how well you age. Smoking and fatty foods will make you have wrinkles, puffy eyes, and dark spots. You probably have a pretty face now, letting go of fatty foods my hard at first, but you'll feel a lot better, AND, you'll be helping your kids learn about good nutrition, too, helping them avoid common children's problems like child diabetes.
There are a few things you can do that will help right now, today; 1) after you eat, don't lie down for at least 2 hours, and do not bend at the waist to pick stuff up, that will also push your stomach contents back uo your throat, if you need to do something sit down on the floor or grass and do it that way. 2) put some extra pillows under your sleep pillow, you may have use ones from your living room, so that you won't be lying all the way down. 3) Remember, a low-fat diet doesn't mean food with no flavor. We still have cake and frosting, smaller portions and not close to bedtime. Soon there will be many different kinds of fresh fruits to make lucsious desserts. Buy some "Tums" with calcium, (good for women's bones anyway) try to use after a recipe that "pushes" it just a little. The doctor would give you a list of No-no's if you have GERD, some people can't have any of them, some people can this with no problem, but not that. Rather than push the boudaries, look at the list and use three categories A-won't miss it at all; B-would be nice but could live without it, C-non-negotiable, must have (or as close as possible) D- would enjoy, but could move to ocassionly; E-Can have one or the other but not on the same day. Sometimes my husband can have something with a little onion, but then no carbon beverages or chocolate in any amount. You pick and choose as your stomach lets you.
I hated the whole list when I saw it, no carbonated beverages!!! Then I found Stewart's sodas. I open them the night before and let the fizz out, the root beer and the orange cream are great. They also have strawberry and creme soda. Carbonated beverages aren't a struggle for me anymore.
Chocolate was hard, when I got PMS I craved chocolate, now I have desserts with a small amount of chocolate, caramel/choc nut desserts. I have sherbet shakes, and Jamba Juice has many things I can have without pain afterward. I have found many desserts that I like that don't have chocolate, creme` brulee, fruit tarts, carrot cake, fruit pies, a whole world of desserts I never knew existed.
My husband can not have tomato sauce or tomato paste, but when I start with real tomatoes and remove the seeds and then cook with a little sugar to balance to acid we can have rattitoulle, zucchini and eggplant with tomato type sauce and topped with mozzarella cheese, put under the broiler 'til browned, this kind of takes the place of pizza for us.
It feels hopeless, but you have to explore what you CAN have. A group of us are going to put a recipes to share with everyone, please look in and try some of them, you'll see, you can work with it, and still enjoy some really good food.